Lady Dogs punish Calllaway in first round

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By R. Alan Richardson

sports editor

In what could be called a highly aggressive game, Morgan’s soccer squad took it to the Lady Cavaliers (number three seed from Region 5-AAA) in every sense.  They showed their physicality while out-playing the opponent in every phase of the game.  The Lady Dogs out-hustled, out-scored, and out-worked Callaway to the tune of a 7-0 win that puts them squarely into the round of 16 in the AAA state playoffs. North Georgia signee, Anslyn Stamps, and Susanna Peppers put on an offensive clinic scoring six of the team’s seven goals, and got help from Annie Aiken in the scoring column as well.  Goalkeeper Alisha Frierson pitched a shutout with numerous saves and stops inside the box.The Lady Dogs out-shot Callaway by a wide margin early and took the lead with only five minutes off the clock in the first period.  Stamps took a shot after the ball bounced off the keeper with 35:08 for the 1-0 lead.  Morgan’s intensity on defense and in the middle of the field winning balls was obvious and much to the chagrin of the Callaway fans in attendance.  Stamps scored with 27:50 and again at 26:45 on a beautiful lead pass from Aiken on a long run to make it 3-0.  It was never in doubt.

Peppers made it 4-0 at 23:53.  The first Callaway threat came with only ten minutes remaining in the first half while the Lady Dogs continued to put the pressure on offensively with free kicks, corner kicks, and shots that were barely wide or high.  Peppers put the nail in the coffin when she scored with only 52.2 seconds remaining to take a 5-0 lead into intermission.

Morgan added two more scores in the second half on a corner kick that Aiken finished off at 29:28.  Peppers made an unbelievable shot from about 30 yards out that just got into the corner of the net to round out the scoring with ten minutes remaining in the contest.Coach Anne Stamps weighed in on the win, “We did a great job of possessing the ball and not trying to force passes. Our defense did a fantastic job of shutting down anything that crossed midfield. Alishia Frierson did a great job in the goal stopping quite a few shots from Callaway.”

The Lady Dogs now face a tough task as they will travel to number one ranked Westminster, but Stamps is optimistic, “We are looking forward to the challenge. I believe we can play with anyone. This game is simple and if we can keep that in perspective, we can come out with a win. We have to continue to do what we have done all year. We have to play our game and play it well.”

She talked about this talented team saying, “This is no doubt the best team Morgan County Soccer has ever put on the field on the girls’ side. These girls love this game and they make me proud every day. To have a group of girls play and work together every day and never have any drama is almost unheard of. This team has no drama! This team cares about each other and plays their hearts out for each other. They truly want to see each other succeed. This is a special group that I am just thankful that I get to hang around with each day.”

The team will play at Westminister on Wednesday, May 4 at 5:30 p.m.

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